Saturday, November 5, 2011

World peace, financial security etc.

Twice now, and I hope it doesn't happen again this time, I have spent a great deal of time composing a literary work of art on this blog for all to see. And the stupid thing crashed somehow and dissapeared into the great, invisible, unrecoverable expanse of the world of electronic communication. Gone! GeeZ! That is soooo frustrating. It only seems to happen when my mind is all keyed in and the words flow with knowledge and coherence and understanding and in some way offer hope to the world. Being of a generation that grew up with slide rules, paper and pen, black and white TV, carburetors, and occasionally, outside toilets you may possibly grasp my ineptitude when it comes to rectifying a computer glitch. Small tools and gentle key manipulation was not a learned science with me. Give me a screwdriver, a hammer, some twine, wire and duct tape and I'm good to go. But, obviously that doesn't work so well in this case.

So, I am sorry to report that the instant, incredibly simple remedies for world peace, financial security, marital harmony, hundred year health, almost free carbon based fuel replacement, unwanted telephone solicitors, undie itch, bitter coffee, food for the masses, overpopulation, unwanted facial hair, gas, tooth decay, streaky windows, automatic business answering machines, and the professional basketball season cancellation will have to wait. I simply don't have the time to put it all back together again right now....................Have a wonderful day...........................Joe

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Grand Rapids Press is changing

I guess it had to happen eventually. The daily newspaper I have read for most of my life is scaling down its home delivery to only three days a week. Whatever will I do now? No more comics in the morning. No more sports updates during lunch. No more news of the city, state, country or world after dinner on the couch. "We hope everyone will take advantage of our excellent on line services." The spokeswoman said. "This is just our way of giving the readers what they asked for." was another comment from her. What she didn't say was that it was their only way to survive financially in this ever changing age of electronic media. I'll survive too but I'll miss my daily newspaper like crazy.

Albeit begrudgingly, I have learned to use the Internet resources and increased my knowledge of the world in which I live. When cars became involved in electronics and fuel injection I screamed and insisted that the "Golden Age" of personal transportation was gone forever. Now, after having owned these new wonders of economy and efficiency I wouldn't care to turn back the clock and drive those old unreliable gas hogs ever again. The days of "getting a push" or waiting for the "choke" to open, or constantly having to restart a stalling engine are a fading memory. I have gotten used to a vehicle that starts and goes down the road with ease. In a few years I will probably become used to reading the news on a 17 inch screen while I'm walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike like the guys at the gym.

The one thing I'll miss the most though is the differing personalities of the reporters and their individual perspectives on what's going on in my neighborhood. Reading their columns with the paper wrinkling in my fingers suits my pace quite well actually. I can't count the times I read and re-read a sentence or paragraph so as to absorb the full impact. Wow! It gets me to thinking and feeling empathy for my fellow human beings in whatever situation they find them selves in. The articles on the screen don't quite feel the same. To me it feels far, far away from being personal. It simply becomes news. That's not the same is it?

The world has been changing since the beginning of time. I'll get used to it. Those that follow me will embrace it. They will also grieve the changes they face, same as me. Life is a series of changes. Youth is filled with discovery, adulthood brings challenges, triumph, defeat and resolution, aging brings even more challenges and with them comes a new understanding of acceptance. I will accept the newspaper's changes. I will not do it willingly. Two other things that come with age: Tenacity and resilience. Yeah, we're all over those two things.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Greece has always been a fascinating country to me. The Greeks display great respect for tradition, know how to have a good time and in certain areas live a long, happy life. The countryside, in most areas is beautiful and the history goes back to almost the beginning of recorded time. What a place to visit it would be. Not on my bucket list but could be if I didn't have so many other goals. Now I find it fascinating for a much different reason.

Greece has provided very well for it's people. There is not much they want for and have so many holidays as to boggle the mind. I'm sure that is some of the reason for their longevity: No worries! The difficulty is that those provisions are unsustainable as they are now. The country is going bankrupt or more accurately, is already. The European Union has found a financial solution in the way of huge loans to bail it out before there is complete and utter economic collapse. From what I read the Greek people are all about receiving the loans but aren't going to give up their costly, unsustainable benefits to do it. From what I can tell, if they receive the loans and they continue to receive all the benefits they do, at the rate they receive them, they'll still go broke and bring all that extra loan money with them. Then, not only will Greece have lost everything but also all the countries of the European Union and in all likelihood, China too. Yet they still protest losing the benefits.

How can they be so arrogant? I wonder. Or is it arrogance or just plain ignorance. I really don't know. Why in the world would any other country or group of countries offer money that they are sure to lose. That would be stupidity wouldn't it? It's one thing for a country to spend all it's resources on it's own people, but to expect others to support their exorbitant lifestyles is ridiculous. No matter how beautiful and historical the country is. It reminds me of the time I lent some money to a guy because he lost his job and needed groceries to feed his family. The next day I happened across him while he was buying a new $80 phone. What I did was a good thing. What he did was a bad thing. I admire the Greek people. I wouldn't lend them a dime unless they agreed not to buy a new phone.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Interesting hunger perspective

Scanning over a list of top stories and articles I happened across statements from a woman in social services who says she has been released from her job because of a statement she made about alleviating hunger in school age children. At first I was reminded of how many people always blame someone else for their problems but she really wasn't doing that. She wasn't trying to get her job back or bad mouth anyone at all. She was simply being interviewed for her stand on childhood hunger in America.

Her stance: In schools across the country children are being fed, usually free of charge breakfast, lunch and, in some cases dinner. In her opinion all this free food is only encouraging people to use their, already quite generous resources for anything but food. She feels the school food programs are removing parental responsibility and weakening the family unit to the point of complete socialism or worse yet, communism. She pointed out that many people, children as well as adults that are supposed to be financially strapped are wearing designer clothes, using $200 cell phones and shoes, overweight almost to the point of obesity and sporting tattoos worth hundreds of dollars. Yet these same people are statistically among the underfed.

Her solution: When a child comes to school and uses the free breakfast, lunch or dinner program the parents should be contacted and interviewed to find out the reason they cannot feed their child those meals at home. If there is a rectifiable problem it should be dealt with. Otherwise, the use of food stamps, bridge cards and food pantry items should be strictly adhered to. If the parents are found to be using those gifts for other reasons and allowing their kids to go hungry, and don't change after repeated warnings: She feels the kids should be taken away from the neglectful parents as well as the accompanying government assistance and charitable gifts.

She said that apparently her views are not particularly welcome in an agency that thrives on the needs of those less fortunate as a means of control., encouraging, creating and maintaining a culture of "being needy". Agree or disagree she brings up food for thought doesn't she?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Right or wrong accusations

Once again a political figure is being accused (anonymously of course)of an event that happened a long time ago but not reported at the time for some odd reason. I'm not saying it did or did not happen, I'm just wondering why it wasn't reported at the time instead of the women involved accepting money to keep quiet.

Terrible things happen every day and go unreported. Sometimes, it's because it really wasn't as bad as we might think, sometimes it's out of fear, sometimes it's out of a feeling of personal guilt, who really knows except the people involved. On the other hand, in my opinion when it comes to politics we all have reason to question the motives as well as the honesty of the accusers.

Herman Cain is being accused of some sort of sexual harassment that occurred about 15 years ago. Why now? Who is behind this sudden desire to make the record straight? Why was it not such a big deal for 15 years? I wonder just what I'm missing? Kind of like the accusations concerning an appointee for the Supreme Court a while back.

Besides, we had a sitting President that was guilty of sexual discrepencies just a few years ago and aside from a huge amount of lip service nothing ever came of it. Perhaps it was a difference of opinion concerning the definition of sexual harassment. I'm not an expert on the subject I guess.

This whole thing will be aired out in the press I imagine, just like always. We will find out whatever details those in charge want us to know. It will be a matter of perspective as usual. I have determined that this is all just a game pitting one political ideology against another. It really doesn't have anything to do about honesty, only political gain. Right and wrong, true or false are entirely different matters in cases like this.
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